Make It Fun So the Consumers Come to You

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NEW YORK -- OMMA keynotes are much abuzz about what will happen next with all the viral marketing and mobile, video, My offerings on the market today.

No one has the answer, but some have the correct attitude to prepare for the Web 2.0 of the present and future. Yesterday's keynote titled, "Creative: It Ain't What It Used To Be," addressed these new tactics that advertisers can employ to stay in the game as the rules keep changing.

"Ads that seek out consumers will fail," said moderator Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer and OMMA East master of ceremonies. "Consumers should seek out the ad. Because of AOS, or advertising overload syndrome, we need to create a new paradigm for advertising."

His sentiment was shared by the host of the talk, Chuck Porter, chairman of Crispin Porter and Bogusky, New York.

"Today, nobody wants to be bored, so they send things to their friends,"  Mr. Porter said. "So people want something that won't make them look dumb to their friends and advertisers have to create content that will make them want to share."

Mr. Porter showed a number of videos that his agency had created that had positive results in employing this tactic, including a series of ads for Coke Zero, VW and Burger King.

The Coke Zero ads were written for a new no-calorie Coke that claims to taste the same as Coke. The agency created a couple of 30-second ad spots that starred nerdy Coke scientists working on coming up with secret formulas.

These ads were followed up by an online video series of fake litigation between the Coke brand and the Coke Zero brand, a deposition in which the originator feels so threatened by the new flavor that it wants to take the secondary brand to court for stealing its thunder. There was a huge viral spread of these comedic episodes, which Mr. Porter attributed to the fun that people are looking for on the Internet.

For VW, the campaign included a TV spot that advertised the new VW Jetta with a 30 second TV spot that ended in a car crash. Visitors to the site could participate in this commercial, by designing their own car -color, features, style-and then crash it and have their own crashed version of the new automobile.

On the friendlier side, the new VW Rabbit had a commercial with a song about being in love in which all of the cars on the streets of New York City are Rabbits, making them seem so in love. On the Web site, consumers can design their own cars and make them fall in love and mate. The results were spotted, striped and so on descendents of the two cars.

All of the games were different, but intended to be engaging to consumers. One final key point that Mr. Porter made is that the timeline for ads is no longer laid out on a 6-month spreadsheet. It just has to be played by ear.

"I think one of the biggest mistakes advertisers make is that they bore people and run stuff way too long," Mr. Porter said. "There is no rule to how long to run a spot, you have to throw the stuff up and see what happens."

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